West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday claimed that Alapan Bandyopadhyay is a closed chapter now, but asserted that her administration will stand by the former chief secretary of the state on the row over his not joining the central government.
“Alapan Bandyopadhyay chapter is over now. The West Bengal government will give full support to Alapan Bandyopadhyay in whatever is going around with him,” Banerjee told reporters when asked about her government’s stance on the fiasco.
Bandopadhyay was set to retire on May 31, but the state had recently sought and received permission for extension of his tenure by three months as he played a crucial role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was, however, handed over a transfer directive by the Centre, shortly after a row broke out over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s post-cyclone review meeting, which the CM and the state chief secretary did not attend.
The bureaucrat, instead of reporting to Delhi, chose to retire amid the Centre-state tussle. He was subsequently appointed as the CM’s chief adviser.
The Union Home Ministry has served a show-cause notice on Bandyopadhyay under a stringent provision of the Disaster Management Act that entails imprisonment up to two years, amid a tug-of-war between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government over him.
Bandyopadhyay has already started working as the chief adviser and was present at Wednesday’s meeting of the state Irrigation department presided over by Banerjee.